Bookworms rejoice

We really need to go back to reading more, especially the youth who, according to the latest albeit pre-pandemic studies, have deteriorated so much in terms of reading comprehension.

Passed by the Manila International Book Fair Saturday at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City to see with my own eyes that print is far from dead as can be gleaned from the brisk sales publication firms have been having since Friday.

There were long lines leading to the cashiers of most publishing houses represented at MIBF, and there were separate queues for book signings and photo ops. People also packed the cordoned off area facing a makeshift stage for meet-and-greet sessions with authors.

The scene at the MIBF was not all about cash registers ringing, but of certifiable bookworms hunting for titles with eyes moist with anticipation.

These, we assume, are the purists who may have hundreds of e-books and periodicals on their e-readers (think Kindle), but who would rather leaf through pages and smell the print and paper.

Reading in my student days had always been sensory, not just tactile, but also the aforementioned scents associated with books just off the presses or those musty second-hand thrift shop treasures.

The allure of long-form writing in print form will never be completely gone, but merely complemented by laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Reading a novel, for example, as long as it is not a page-turner, should have no match in making us fall asleep, knowing that you can just drop the book and still find it undamaged the next morning. Do that with your e-readers and risk finding cracked LCDs later.

Old stuffs — like vinyls playing good music again on refurbished or brand-new turntables — are new again and this can only augur well for publications, including newspapers like Daily Tribune that have maintained print copies when others have chosen to go fully digital.

Print-on-demand, already hot in other nations, may soon become the next “in thing” across our own horizon as it gives readers the option to have printed copies of digital issues they’ve already read.

So, whoever it was, who tolled the death knell on print decades ago should be eating humble pie as books, as we know them, are here to stay for those who are not inclined to spend all their time watching YouTube and TikTok videos.

I’d like to consider myself a voracious reader and proof of this may be nothing else but my thick eyeglasses that have gone progressively thicker as the years went by, only slimming down when lens technology has become more advance to allow their whittling down.

We really need to go back to reading more, especially the youth who, according to the latest albeit pre-pandemic studies, have deteriorated so much in terms of reading comprehension.

As lawmakers look at the 2023 education budget, there’s a proposal to end the 10-year-long moratorium on the construction of more libraries by including funding for that purpose. We’re all for that, especially for students, who must have access to superb reading materials that they would not be able to afford normally.

As a student in the University of Santo Tomas, I had spent countless hours in its many libraries scattered across many colleges, especially at the Main Building, before a Central Library was constructed. If there’s any reason for me to be going back to my alma mater, it would be to see if it had kept and added up to its enormous collection of books and other reading materials.


Read more Daily Tribune stories at: https://tribune.net.ph/

Follow us on social media
Facebook: @tribunephl
Youtube: TribuneNow
Twitter: @tribunephl
Instagram: @tribunephl
TikTok: @dailytribuneofficial